Jamaican patois and language rights: Stanford Humanities Center international visitor Q&A

Jamaican patois and language rights: Stanford Humanities Center International Visitor Q&A

Celia Blake is an attorney-at-law and a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. With a Master of Laws and a PhD in linguistics, she specializes in two distinct academic streams: forensic linguistics (the study of the confluence of language and the law), and insolvency, corporate law, and financial regulation.

Published in both areas of academic specialization, Blake has spent the last 15 years developing new research on the impact of linguistic factors on the administration of justice within Commonwealth Caribbean contexts. A key focus of her research has been the role language rights play in improving the situation of Creole vernacular speakers in the English-dominant legal system. As Chair of the International Centre for Caribbean Language Rights Research, she was instrumental in formulating a language rights policy charter which sets out model rights for speakers of Caribbean Creole languages. In 2015, she presented at the inaugural Faculty of Law symposium on linguistic disenfranchisement in the legal system, and she has most recently presented at the Society for Caribbean Linguistics Conference 2016 on issues of language and credibility in the judicial process in Jamaica.

Read more on her Q&A with Stanford Humanities Centre here.